Fort Laramie opened with "Specially transcribed tales of the dark and tragic ground of the wild frontier. The saga of fighting men who rode the rim of empire and the dramatic story of Lee Quince, Captain of Cavalry".
When Norman Macdonnell created Fort Laramie in late 1955, he made it clear to his writers that historical accuracy was essential to the integrity of the series. Correct geographic names, authentic Indian practices, military terminology, and utilizing actual names of the original buildings of the real fort, was insisted upon. So when the radio characters referred to the sutler's store (which is what the trading post was called prior to 1870), the surgeon's quarters, Old Bedlam (the officers' quarters) or the old bakery, they were naming actual structures in the original fort.
While Macdonnell planned to use the same writers, soundmen, and supporting actors in Fort Laramie that he relied upon in Gunsmoke, he naturally picked different leads. Heading up the cast was a 39 year old, Canadian-born actor with a long history in broadcasting and the movies, Raymond Burr. He had begun his career in 1939, alternating between the stage and radio. He turned to Hollywood, and from 1946 until he got the part of Captain Lee Quince in Fort Laramie in 1956, he had appeared in thirty-seven films. A few were excellent (Rear Window, The Blue Gardenia) some were average (Walk a Crooked Mile, A Place in the Sun) but many were plain awful (Bride of Vengeance, Red Light, and Abandoned).
With Burr in the lead, Macdonnell selected two supporting players: Vic Perrin as "Sgt. Goerss" and Jack Moyles as "Major Daggett", the commanding officer of the post. (The original Fort Laramie usually had a Lieutenant Colonel as the C.O. but Macdonnell probably preferred a shorter military title.) Perrin, a 40 year old veteran radio actor had been in countless productions, but had achieved name recognition only on The Zane Grey Show where he played the lead, "Tex Thorne." Jack Moyles was also a busy radio actor, having started in 1935 in Hawthorne House, with later major roles in Romance, Twelve Players, Night Editor as well as the lead in A Man Called Jordan. From 1947 to 1948 he was a regular in The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, which Norman Macdonnell directed, although this may not have been their first association.
By the mid-1950s when Fort Laramie began, most of the actors on the west coast were doing some television and movie work so the program was rehearsed and taped for transcription during the evening. Once a week the cast and crew gathered at CBS Studio One in Hollywood to tape the show. In 1956 this was the last radio production studio in use in California. The series debuted on January 22, 1956 with an episode entitled "Playing Indian."
Fort Laramie aired forty one episodes from January 22, 1956 to October 28, 1956. An audition episode was recorded on July 25, 1955.
NOTE: Updated Release! All version 3 episodes have been upgraded to 128 encodes (04-Jul-2012).
From the Old Time Radio Researchers Group. See "Notes" Section below for more information on the OTRR.
It contains the most complete and accurate version of this series in the best sound possible at the time of creation. An updated version will be issued if more episodes or better sounding ones become available.
This is the Single Episodes Page. The Certified Set includes extras not found here. It is located at OTRR Certified Set. This Single Episodes page is provided in case you want to sample the shows.Note that in many cases, file names have been modified from the original OTRR names to conform to archive.org naming requirements.
If you are interested in preserving Old Time Radio (OTR), you may wish to join the Old Time Radio Researchers Group at Facebook and Groups.io.
Relax, listen, and enjoy!
OTRR Maintained Set -- This set contains all known episodes in the best available audio condition with the most accurate dates and titles known to be in general circulation and based on current research at the time of release. Replaces OTRR Certified Accurate and OTRR Certified Complete.
OTRR Non-Maintained Set -- A collection of shows that has not gone through the OTRR Maintenance process.
Pre-2019 OTRR Definitions:
OTRR Certified Accurate -- A series that was "Certified Accurate" indicated that all the episodes were properly identified and labeled based on current information but that the series did not contain all known extant episodes.
OTRR Certified Complete -- A series that was "Certified Complete" achieved the highest level of certification available under the OTRR Certified Standards. This certification level implied that all the files in the series were "Certified Accurate" and also indicated that the series was as complete as possible and included all circulating episodes.
OTRR Non-Certified -- A collection of shows that has not gone through the OTRR Certification process.
Also, beginning in 2019, the version numbers of our OTRR releases changed format -- instead of v1.0 or v2.1, we are now using a version number that reflects the year and month the set was released. The format used is a two-digit year followed by a two-digit month. For example, "v1906" indicates a set that was released in June 2019, or "v1910" indicates a set released in October 2019.
NOTE: There are no passwords for any of our ZIP files. If you are prompted for a password, before downloading the file again, try unzipping the file into a shorter full folder path name -- for example, unzip to "C:\" instead of "C:\Documents and Settings\your_Windows_ID\some_other_folder\". Sorry, some of our releases contain long folder and file names, which sometimes manifests itself on the Windows platform as prompting for a password for the ZIP file. Or try renaming the ZIP file itself to a shorter name before unzipping.
August 7, 2020 Subject:
best sound effects EVER
December 5, 2019 Subject:
Raymond Burr as Lee Quince Captain of Cavalry
Historically accurate portrayal. As if living a L'Amour western. Sound effects helps one to imagine the way it was. Short versions of a John Ford Western. Makes one want to listen rather than watch. It probably took alot of work to make this program. Many artist are familiar to the 'Boomer Generation".
July 6, 2017 Subject:
Happily surprised by how well made this series was
First of all I'm not a Western fan but decided to give this a try because of Raymond Burr,Harry Bartell and other familiar voices, but I was hooked from the start and have just listened to the last,41st,episode ,truly a very well made series, recommended to all.
January 25, 2012 Subject:
What a WONDERFUL resource!!!
I give this site 10 stars - 5 just is not enough for all they offer!
August 28, 2011 Subject:
It's a great show...a great series...I just think others are better
Fort Laramie has excellent research, writing, and sound effects; it has excellent acting. It's as good as any show, not just any western, but for some reason I can't explain, I'm not a fan of the show and have never gotten into it. I like The Six Shooter, Frontier Gentleman, and most of Gunsmoke, much much more than Fort Laramie. I think Fort Laramie is considerably better than The Lone Ranger, The Cisco Kid, Hopalong Cassidy, or other old time radio westerns. And,as I said, I have no idea why I'm not a fan of the show.
That said, if I was going to recommend an Gunsmoke as a serious and authentic western old-time-radio show, it would almost certainly be Fort Laramie on second thought. I would almost certainly, on first thought, say The Six Shooter or Frontier Gentleman but they're not nearly as authentic.
August 27, 2011 Subject:
FANTASTIC SHOW I RECOMMEND TO ALL.
August 26, 2011 Subject:
If you like Gunsmoke you should also like Fort Laramie
The quality of the acting and writing is top notch. This includes the "sound patterns." Finally, the sound quality is amazing. These recordings sound like they were made yesterday.
September 14, 2009 Subject:
I love this show! I've perused a few different shows this past couple of months but Fort Laramie is by far my favorite.
September 7, 2009 Subject:
An entertaining show, could have definitely had a few more seasons if radio wasn't slowly losing to TV.
Does anyone think that Lee Quince sounds exactly like Zap Brannigan from Futurama?
September 20, 2007 Subject:
The programs were written very well and it is a shame that it never made it to TV in 1957 or even today!
September 15, 2007 Subject:
Fort Laramie was a vary well written and acted and Norman Mcdonnell was an good director.
September 1, 2007 Subject:
Fort Laramie-Single Episodes
Fort Laramie was not a bad little show do to work of the shows director Norman Mcdonnell, who wanted everything historically correct.